There are lots of ways you can help make the lakes clean, healthy, safe and beautiful. Start with these easy lifestyle changes! Also check out our Q&A page for commonly asked community education questions.
Properly Dispose of Household Hazardous Waste
Never dump oil, gasoline or household chemicals down your sinks or storm drains. These materials can be properly disposed of at the KC Recycling Depot at 220 S. Union St., Warsaw.
Properly Dispose of Medications
Pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter medications, except liquid medications, can be disposed of at collection boxes at these Kosciusko County locations:
Warsaw Sheriff’s Department – 221 W. Main St.
Warsaw Police Department – 2191 E. Fort Wayne St.
Syracuse Police Department – 310 N. Huntington St.
Milford Police Department – 121 Old State Rd.
Pierceton Police Department – 207 N. 1st St.
Mentone Police Department – 201 W. Main St.
To dispose of liquid medications, pour them in coffee grounds or kitty litter. Place in sealed bag and put in your trash.
Implement Responsible Lawn and Garden Care Practices
Use phosphorus-free fertilizers and reduce pesticide use. Minimize lawn area that needs fertilizers and pesticides. Let your grass grow longer before you mow.
Maintain Your Septic System
Septic systems should be inspected and pumped regularly. Avoid planting trees too close to your septic system as the roots can crack pipes and cause wastewater seepage.
Keep Stormwater on Your Property
Reduce paved surfaces and use porous materials like mulch, gravel and brick. Install a rain barrel to collect water from your roof, which can be used to water your lawn and garden. Install rain gardens with native plants in low areas of your yard.
Dispose of Animal Waste Properly
Throw pet waste in the garbage rather than leaving it in the grass or on the street. If you have livestock, use fencing to keep the animals out of lakes and streams.
Maintain or Create a Natural Buffer
Allow native vegetation to grow high along stream banks, lake shores and between your landscaped areas and storm drains or ditches.
Get Involved With Your Lake Association
Volunteer at your local lake association, or organize a lake or stream clean up. Here are just a few local lake associations you could join:
- Barbee Lakes Property Owners Association
- Center Lake Conservation Association
- Chapman Lakes Conservation Association
- Dewart Lake Protective Association
- Lake Tippecanoe Property Owners
- Ridinger Lake Association
- Wawasee Property Owners Association
- Webster Lake Conservation Association
- Winona Lake Preservation Association
- Yellow Creek Lake Conservation Club
Prevent Erosion from Your Property
Patch bare spots in your lawn with native grasses (like these!) or groundcover, or use mulch in shady areas where grass won’t grow. If you’re working on a landscaping project, minimize the amount of time the soil is disturbed by re-planting as soon as possible and avoiding work before major rain is forecasted.
Compost Yard Waste
Compost (read about how to start your own at-home compost here) is a valuable soil conditioner. Using compost can reduce or even eliminate the need for fertilizers. If you live along a lake or stream, do not throw yard waste into the water.
Identify Your Watershed
Find out where water goes after it drains off your property. Which lake, stream or other water body is affected by your daily actions?